I’m not sure I’ll ever forget July 2015. It was easily one of the longest months of my life. Good? Absolutely. Crazy? You bet. Exhausting? Like you wouldn’t believe.
July is basically the apex of busy season around Adventures. We’re doing training camps for the squads that launch in September during that time. This September we’ll be sending 8 squads of around 30-50 (mostly 50) out to the nations. That means we had two training tamps in July. For me these were two very different training camps. Each training camp I was a trainer, which essentially is the leadership team that leads the new Racers through the training camp process. Prayer, listening to what they have to say, putting them in teams. We do it all.
I’ll remember each for different reasons. Reasons that I shall share now.
|Snapshot of training camp worship.|
The first one was a great time. I got to work with X squad, and they’re a fantastic bunch of people. What was truly special about this training camp was that I also got to work with my parents, who are coaching X squad. This essentially means they’ll keep up with the squad all throughout their journey, go out to the field to meet them a few times, and generally coach them through their World Race journey.
As incredible as X squad and the training team I got to work with was (and believe me, both groups of people are high quality), I think the best part of this camp was getting to see my parents in this way. It was this wonderful moment where I realized how far I’ve come and how far my whole family has come. Seeing the racers flock into the loving, open arms of my parents during worship was nothing short of awe inspiring. Getting to share worship times with them literally brought me to tears several times throughout this camp. It was just friggin beautiful, guys.
There was a moment at my launch I'll never forget where the family comes and gets to worship with the Racers before a talk. Right after this talk the parents go back home before the Racers ship out on their journey. I remember standing there with my parents, worshipping like normal, when outta nowhere I began to weep. It was like God was telling me that this is exactly where He wanted me and that this was going to be an experience that forever changed me. I felt so much gratitude towards my parents for raising me to this point. For getting me there. I think it was the exact same feeling during worship. They were standing right next to me. Worshipping like I had never seen them worship before, and the tears just flowed. I must’ve looked like a wreck to those Racers. But they were going through their own junk, so who cares?
It’s hard to truly nail down the impact someone has had on your life, even your own parents, until you just see it rolled out in front of you. Especially when you see how they’re on the cusp of impacting a whole other group of people in the same way. X squad, if you’re reading this, you have absolutely no idea how good you have it. Get ready, they’re gonna blow your mind.
The rest of that week just looked like freedom for me. I was free to be myself. I gave words. I spoke truth. I was bold. I was unencumbered. I think I was so energized by getting to hang out with my parents in that way that the rest of the experience was so good. It was tiring, but incredible.
It’s interesting how incredible experiences can look so different, because the second training camp was a much different than the first. But no less fantastic.
The second camp I found myself in a position I never would’ve anticipated, and that position was in charge. For the second camp, due to a range of circumstances, myself and another woman sort of co-led our training team for Gap E squad. Gap year is our program for 18-22 year olds where they go to 3 countries in 9 months, versus 11 countries in 11 months (which is what I did). Not only was I meant to drive this process for our training team, but I also found myself completely in charge of the 2 day Man Hike that we take all the men on for training camp.
|X squad rallying together during worship.|
Going into this training camp I admittedly lost sleep. I was so nervous. I may have made myself a bit sick. I hadn’t been given this amount of leadership in a while, if ever. Especially all at once. People at Adventures are all about skipping the frying pan altogether and just throwing you as hard as they can into the fire. And boy, did it feel like it.
I quickly realized that this camp was going to be about challenge. I was going to use all I had learned about myself in the last training camp with X squad and apply it to leading and pouring into Gap E.
It was tough. I can’t even lie. It took several different methods of leadership and trying to keep track of 1000 things at the same time. Not to mention I was trying to do my job at the same time too. I got to do things and gain experience in areas I had never experienced. I got to lead in capacities I hadn’t before. It was a week of incredible growth for me. In both the training team and the Man Hike. I gave a talk on the hike, which is one of the first times since my Race that I had done that.
It was nuts. But so rewarding. That sounds somewhat corny, but it seriously was. I felt myself being “grown” and “stretched” all over the place. And I practically lived outside of my comfort zone the entire week.
Just to ease your nerves, I’m sure you’re simply dying to know how it went, everything was fantastic. It was an awesome week! Gap E is full of awesome people that I loved getting to spend time with (and mess with on numerous occasions). And so a quick shout-out to any Gap E that found themselves here, I loved getting to hang out with you guys. It was a ton of fun. You were fantastic. Even though you called me Jeff. I will never forget that.
Freedom and challenge. That was my July. Basically a whole month of training another generation of Racers on fire for the Kingdom to go out to the nations and get rowdy. No matter how dead I was by the end of it, I wouldn’t of traded it for anything.
Gotta love training camp.
Thing is, you can’t go through something like the gauntlet of a July without a purpose. I’ve been waiting and waiting for the opportunity to share a bit of news in my life that’s gonna be here before we all know it. Finally I can share it with certainty.
I don’t know where I’m going, or who I’m going with yet. But…
I’m going to be squad leading in January.
|Well... Here we go again?|
(Details coming soon in a new blog….)